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Greenhost | Sustainability Report

The design of Greenhost's first sustainability report in an engaging way.

CONTEXT

This was my Bachelor’s thesis project. During 15 weeks I worked for Greenhost, an internet company with a special focus on sustainability, internet freedom and privacy.

CHALLENGE

Design Greenhost’s first sustainability report in an engaging way so that their sustainability conscious clients are aware of their environmental footprint.

ROLE

This was a side project which I carried out on my own, under the supervision of my mentors. However, I worked in close collaboration with the front office and two software engineers at the company.

Desk research

I started this project doing extensive desk research to obtain responses to the following questions:

 

• What sustainability reports are already published?

• What are the general guidelines for making a sustainability report engaging?

• Which ways are there to present information visually?

User research

To empathise with my users, I conducted 6 remote interviews that would answer my research questions:

 

• Which information regarding sustainability would Greenhost’s users want to have access to?

• How should Greenhost sustainability data be visualised, so the users understand it best?

• How should the sustainability report be communicated to users?

 

Later on, to figure out the taxonomy, hierarchy and terminology for the sustainability report, I prepared a card sorting/survey exercise in LimeSurvey.

Define

To interpret the interviews, I did transcripts, a thematic analysis, a user persona and then MoSCoW which helped me to define the requirements for an engaging report:

 

• Information regarding energy usage at data centre and energy saving measures); waste management; the office; transportation used by employees.

• A combination of qualitative and quantitative data;

• Visuals (have a visual report).

• An informative email notification about the report.

• Be on the Greenhost website.

• Be yearly.

• A brief length.

• Interactivity.

• Simple language.

• Storytelling (follow a narrative);

Ideate

Keeping the requirements and the needs of the company in mind, I prepared the main How Might We (HMW) question of this project: HMW visualize the report to make it engaging?

 

Once I had the main HMW question, I started ideating. I used Miro to do lotus blossom. Combining ideas from the lotus blossom, I came up with 6 concepts.

To select the final idea, I first did dot voting with a colleague, to select the top 3 concepts and then the Plus Minus Interesting (PMI) method. The winning idea from the PMI was “Scroll down website”.

Prototype

Once I had selected a concept, I started making a Low-Fi prototype, which became a Mid-Fi prototype by the time when I managed to recruit enough users for testing. 

Test

Once I had chosen the final idea “Scroll down website” I found an article from Nielsen Norman “Scrolling and Attention”. When I read it, I decided to do an A/B testing with my users to find out if they would be more engaged with a scroll down website or an horizontal scroll website. The version B of the website (horizontal scroll website) resulted more engaging for users, so I used this version from this moment onwards.

 

Later on, I did an experiential test with my users, where I asked them to go through the report and think out loud to gather feedback. Besides testing with my users, I also tested it with 2 colleagues. I analysed all the feedback and made a few changes on the prototype. For instance, I made the design more “serious” and more similar to the Greenhost website look and feel.

Final deliverable

©2021 by Mercedes Mendaza.